Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Preview: Float Like a Butterfly

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While Blogger is actually accepting uploads, instead of just spinning and spinning its progress wheel, let's catch up on previews from the upcoming Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 2.

Norman Spinrad is known to Star Trek fans as the writer of the original series second-season episode "The Doomsday Machine."  Frequently highly-placed in polls of favorite episodes, it inspired a sequel by the fan-run Internet production Star Trek New Voyages (now Star Trek: Phase II) that you can watch on their website.

Spinrad wrote an additional original series script, "He Walks Among Us," which he withdrew after rewrites by producer Gene L. Coon left him dissatisfied with the direction the project was headed. You'll soon learn a lot more here on the Thrilling Wonder Stories website, as we bring you a multi-part feature about this script's evolution (or devolution?), starting in December.

Perhaps Spinrad's best-known novel is the Nebula-nominated The Iron Dream, an alternative-history tale that takes the form of a novel, Lord of the Swastika, by an Austrian-born American science fiction writer named Adolf Hitler, with a critical commentary thereof.

"Float Like a Butterfly" is a truly dreamlike story—not in the all-too-common psuedo-Fruedian representative sense, but in a sense more true to the dream experience, with the fantastic and familiar seamlessly blending one into another, but all making sense somehow, with a logic deeper than logic. Usually, I prefer strongly-plotted stories for Thrilling Wonder, but I just couldn't resist the emotional reality of Spinrad's story—the best dream I've ever read.

The illustration is another wonderful work by Kevin Farrell, who does the honors on three stories for TWS2, as he did for the first volume. I first saw his work at the Los Angeles WorldCon in 2006. His film storyboards immediately impressed me as the sort of highly-arresting pen-and-ink work I was looking for. I feel his work more than bears comparison with the great artists of the pulp era. You can see more of his work at his website,

As usual, feel free to use our preview jpg file on your own blog or website, as long as you leave the file, with all credits and copyrights, intact.

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